End of a Bears era with Fred Mitchell closing out


End of a Bears era with Fred Mitchell closing out

Sunday's Bears-Broncos game is the final one for a Chicago sports giant, and it warrants acknowledging.

When I left a very, very good situation as the business writer and columnist with the Daily Herald and took over as the Herald’s Bears beat writer, one of my worries was what the daily workplace would be like. I had an incredible group of colleagues in the Herald news offices and now I was going where everyone in the media room at Bears headquarters was competition.

I shouldn’t have worried, because of one individual in particular.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Fred Mitchell was on the Bears for the Tribune at the time, something of a legend because of being the only journalist in Chicago to have been the lead beat writer on every professional team in Chicago – Cubs, White Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls, and Bears at that time. Fred became one of those people who taught me how to do this job, mostly by ruining a lot of mornings, opening the morning paper and muttering to myself, “Shoot, how did Fred get THAT?!”

More than that, Fred became a friend over the years, he and his wife, Kim, coming to the house for dinner, lots and lots of meals on the road, and always with someone who was an elite-grade journalist and well above that as a person.

We both went on to different things over the years, me to the Tribune and then to Comcast Sportsnet Chicago, Fred to his own column and to a variety of assignments, college and pro.

That run is coming to a gentle finish on Sunday, with the Bears-Broncos game representing Fred’s final game covering for the Tribune. Fred is taking a buyout and managing his exit, leaving on his own terms, which couldn’t be happening to a more quality individual.

So an appreciative and warm nod to Fred as he exits this chapter of his distinguished career, in which he was a standard. No disrespect to anyone here, but a lot of us are “sportswriters” – Fred Mitchell is a writer who covers sports.

Good luck, Fredo.

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots


NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots


Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.